Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ready for the Oshkosh 1/2 Marathon!

Well, it’s that time of year again. I have been meaning to blog about this for about the past 4-5 weeks, but just haven’t gotten to it… I am SO far behind in writing!

Before the new year, 2009, I decided I was going to properly train for the Oshkosh ½ Marathon. After that, I was going to continue running, following a new training program for a full marathon. Running a full marathon is on my list of things to do before I die, and I hope to check that off my list this year.

The first thing I did was print out the training logs and write it all into my calendar, and the two fit perfectly. If I started training in January of 2009, I’d be ready for the Oshkosh ½ marathon on April 18. Then I take 3 weeks of post-race recovery time, and the 3rd week is actually the same as the 1st week in my marathon training, ending on the Fox Cities Marathon on September 20. So I could transition right into it without a hitch (or lets hope!) So far so good!

On this Saturday, I will run the 13.1 miles at the Annual Oshkosh ½ Marathon. I did it last year with poor training, and I really surprised myself (and I was lucky I didn’t get injured!). My goal was to finish, and I really wanted to actually run the entire distance… not walk any of it. So I did that, and when I crossed the finish line with cramped stiff legs, the big digital clock read something like, “2:02:36” or something like that. I was hoping to finish under 2:30, so I was thrilled – to say the least. But… that 2 minutes over the 2-hour mark kind of ate at me. I was super-proud of myself and what I’d accomplished, but those 2 minutes set me off on a new challenge. I had to get it under 2 hours.

This is what I LOVE about working out and endurance sports. Once you do something, you can always improve… you can always set new goals, or create new challenges. So on I go. This year, I plan to finish that ½ marathon in under 2 hours. And I will. The only way I won’t is if something goes terribly wrong. I have been averaging an 8:30 minute-mile on my last few long runs, so that would put me at a finish time of 1:51:26 – plenty of time to spare to keep me under the 2 hours. It's amazing to see how proper training helped me improve! So all I can do now is hope for decent weather, and pray for a good run.

The training for this has been pretty challenging -- finding time to fit it all in can be tough. I have so much going on all the time that I was squeezing in runs whenever I could. Early morning, late at night, any open windows on weekends, different towns depending on where I was… but I got it done. I missed a couple of weekly training runs or cross-training days, but I never missed a long weekend run. So I actually feel ready for it. I don’t want to get too confident, though. I like to always think of worst-case scenario, and then I usually end up thinking, “Well it could’ve been worse, so this is okay” – no matter what happens. I’m excited.

One important lesson I learned – shoes matter! I always tried to get shoes I could wear for running and working out -- mutli-purpose, of course... save some money. I had a Nike trail runner that I grabbed at Shopko. It was alright. I got little blisters on the tips of my toes, and some aches and pains in my hip joints and knees, but I figured I was running a lot, and this was all normal. Then one day I got done with my run and noticed a blood blister on my toe, the next day my toes on both feet were all cramped up, and my hip was really sore. I decided my 1-1/2 year-old shoes had to be replaced. I coughed up the $100 and went to a running store, where they measured my feet and checked my running gait. They put me in a shoe that was a whole size smaller than I had been wearing, and a normal width (I’d been wearing a wide size). I was nervous about these new shoes, but I put my trust in the running shoe experts. On my next few runs after that, I felt like I was flying. My times improved, I had no more blisters on the tips of my toes, no more toe cramps, and my hip and knees weren’t hurting. WOW. What a difference!!! People have always told me that the shoes matter, and I know that from all my hiking experience… but I didn’t know I was in completely the wrong size!!

I’ll give an update as to how I do on Saturday. It’s going to be a crazy day, as I have a presentation after that, and Adam is having people over for a UFC Pay per view in the evening, too. It will be a quick and busy day, but at the end of it, relaxing with a single beer and falling asleep on the couch will be my reward.

Goals for the Oshkosh ½ Marathon 2009:
Finish the same day I start
Run the entire race
Finish under 2 hours
Smile as I cross the finish line!

I plan to accomplish all these goals. As I said earlier, something would have to go pretty wrong for any of these to fall through. So it should be a good day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep dreaming, keep planning, keep doing.

Good luck on saturday